It is an unfortunate truth that our sputtering economy has opened the door for a variety of scams. One particularly nasty scam involves offering consumers supposed credit card interest rate reductions and the promise of saving potential thousands of dollars and being able to pay off their credit card debt faster.
This grotesque scam preys on people struggling to make the minimum payments on their credit cards, and it does this by having the scammer act as a legitimate representative authorized to reduce consumers’ credit card interest rates. This might sound like something that would be easy to identify as a too-good-to-be-true deal. Unfortunately, the tactics these scammers use put people at ease and allow them to con consumers out of their money.
There is no question the criminals involved in credit card interest rate scams deploy slick and convincing tactics. Fortunately, identifying these tactics is not difficult, and doing so not only can save you money but provide you with peace of mind as well, as you will know exactly how to deal with the scammers should they try to make you one of their victims. Then you can focus on formulating a legitimate plan to pay off your debts.
One of the more annoying tactics that these scammers like to use is the robocall. With this, you receive an automated phone call that gives its pitch and offers to set you up with a credit card “counselor” who will slash your interest rates. If you receive a robocall your best option is to hang up and simply ignore any additional calls that may follow later. Most robocalls come with fake caller ID numbers, so there is usually no way for you to request that you be removed from the scammer’s calling list.
Your “Bank” Calls
One of the more disturbing tactics that credit card interest rate scammers use is calling you and claiming that they are affiliated with your bank or credit card issuer. They often will even offer the first four digits of your credit card to substantiate their claim of being an affiliate. The problem here is that the first four numbers are brand identifiers, which legitimate credit card issuers use to distinguish themselves from other issuers.
On the phone the scammer will ask you to verify the rest of your credit card number and personal information including your name and address. They will claim they need this information to negotiate a lower interest rate.
Scammers that gain your credit card information will likely charge your credit card for fees rendered on behalf of their supposed negotiations with your card issuer. Because you gave them your information, the criminals will argue, you authorized these transactions, and they will consequently refuse to issue you any kind of refund. Consumers are often left with little recourse in a situation like this.
The most telling sign you are dealing with a scammer is when the person calling you fails to provide accurate information regarding their company name, address and phone number. Be on alert when scammers identify themselves as credit counselors or account services. Whatever general title they choose, chances are high they are scammers. If an individual begins the call with this information, hang up the phone. Don’t waste your time trying to determine whether their company is legitimate. It isn’t.
A General Rule to Follow
If you really want to protect yourself from credit card interest rate reduction scams, above all remember that that if you haven’t specifically requested a particular company to contact you about an interest rate reduction, then you shouldn’t bother speaking with anyone from that company who calls you. Any peddler of deals is likely trying to take your money and cause problems. If you didn’t ask for them, don’t allow them to waste your time. You have better things to do with your life.